62: Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees, and the Pursuit of Greatness (Hardcover)
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“The definitive story” (Tyler Kepner, The New York Times baseball columnist) of Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s incredible, unparalleled run to break Roger Maris’s home run record and the franchise both men called home.
Aaron Judge, the hulking superman who carried an easy aw-shucks demeanor from small-town California to stardom in the Big Apple, had long established his place as one of baseball’s most intimidating power hitters. Baseballs frequently rocketed off his bat like cannon fire, dispatching heat-seeking missiles toward the “Judge’s Chambers” seating area in right field, sending delirious fans scattering for souvenirs.
But even in a high-tech universe where computers measure each swing to the nth degree, Roger Maris’s American League mark of sixty-one home runs seemed largely out of reach. It had been more than a decade since baseball wiped clean the stains of its performance-enhanced era, in which cartoonish sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds made a mockery of the record book.
Given a more level playing field against pitchers sporting hellacious arsenals unlike anything Babe Ruth or Maris could have imagined, only an exceptional talent could even consider making a run at sixty-one homers. Judge, who placed the bet of his life by turning down a $213.5 million extension on the eve of the regular season, promised to rise to the challenge.
“In the most thorough telling yet of an all-time-great Yankees performance” (Jeff Passan, New York Times bestselling author), veteran Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch unravels the remarkable journey of Judge’s run to shatter Maris’s beloved sixty-one-year-old record. In-depth, inspiring, and with an expert’s insight, 62 also investigates the more significant questions raised in a season unlike any other, including how—and where—Judge will deliver his encore.
About the Author
Bryan Hoch has covered New York baseball for the past two decades, working the New York Yankees clubhouse as an MLB.com beat reporter since 2007. Bryan is the author and coauthor of several books, including 62, The Baby Bombers, Mission 27, and The Bronx Zoom. Find out more at Bryan-Hoch.com and follow him on Twitter @BryanHoch.
“Mr. Hoch alights on all 62 of Judge’s home runs, listing the exit velocity, distance traveled and launch angle of each, as well as the opposing pitcher and number of runners batted in. The approach underscores the full extent of Judge’s home-run prowess. . . . The author’s inclusion of advanced metrics will please stat nerds, though the book is also padded with a lot of game summaries and quotes, from Judge and teammates, of a similar nature.” —The Wall Street Journal
“This book is more than a recitation of games. . . . Hoch captures the drama of Judge being a free agent while turning in a season that will be talked about for as long as there is baseball.” —New York Daily News
“Bryan Hoch takes you so close to Aaron Judge’s historic season, you’ll feel like you’re watching from the on-deck circle.” —Mark Feinsand, MLB.com Executive Reporter and author of The Franchise: New York Yankee”
“With 62, Bryan Hoch brings you inside the clubhouse and behind the scenes of Aaron Judge’s historic home run chase. Hoch’s knowledge and insight gleaned from nearly two decades covering New York baseball shines through in the most thorough telling yet of an all-time-great Yankees performance.” —Jeff Passan, ESPN baseball columnist and author of the New York Times best seller The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.
"From the moment he got to Yankee Stadium, when he launched a home run over Monument Park in his very first at-bat, Aaron Judge has been larger than life. Now he finally gets the rich and nuanced portrait he deserves, from the only writer who could do it. Nobody in the press box knows the Yankees’ captain better than Bryan Hoch, the authoritative insider who has chronicled Judge every size-17 step of the way. Hoch expertly weaves pinstriped history from Ruth to Maris to Judge, their slugging successor, whose 62 homers in 2022 captivated the baseball world. This is the definitive story of the man, the mission and the majesty of a milestone. " —Tyler Kepner, The New York Times baseball columnist, author of K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches and The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series
"Rich in detail, 62 illuminates not only Aaron Judge and his record season but also the historic synergy between Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Judge, the three Yankees rightfielders who took turns setting the American League home run record. Yankees fans and all fans of baseball history will love 62 for its insight in capturing the essence of one of the game’s most iconic records." —Tom Verducci, best-selling author & analyst, FOX and MLB Network
“Aaron Judge had the greatest offensive season that I’ve ever witnessed. This book tells you the complete story.” —Yankees ace Gerrit Cole
"To set a new record in any category after 122 American League seasons is an enormous feat - especially the most coveted record in all of sports. The observant and insightful Bryan Hoch is the perfect journalist to chronicle Aaron Judge's quest from every angle." —Marty Appel, New York Yankees historian, author of Pinstripe Empire and Pinstripes by the Tale
"Aaron Judge’s historic 2022 season was captivating in the moment, and even more so in the context of the record he was chasing, one held by two previous Yankees right fielders, first Babe Ruth, then Roger Maris. Bryan Hoch, in this richly detailed account, offers brilliant perspective, explaining not just Judge’s rise to stardom, but also his place in the Yankees pantheon." —Ken Rosenthal, senior writer for The Athletic and MLB on FOX field reporter